Comms Lab: The Humble Signpost

Comms Lab: Episode 14

6 Ways the Humble Signpost Will Enhance Your Communication

Many people dismiss the Signpost as a communication skill.

Because it’s so simple, it’s hard to believe how valuable it can be.

The reality is that in the context of difficult conversations, signposts are indispensable.

They enable us to keep even the toughest conversations on track, while simultaneously building trust throughout the interaction.

Whether or not you’re accustomed to using signposts, I hope this video opens your eyes to the huge power of this simple skill, and the many different situations where it can be useful.


6 Simple Rules

1Set the agenda
2The standard Signpost: the microagenda
3Asking Permission: Standard signpost + empowerment
4The Parking Lot: the Pivot
5The Warning Shot
6The skilled Interruption

0:00 Enter the Signpost
0:44 – 1. Setting the Agenda
1:33 – 2. The Standard Signpost
2:04 – 3. Asking Permission
2:43 – 4. The Parking Lot
3:29 – 5. The Warning Shot
4:28 – 6. The Skilled Interruption
6:09 – 7. Bonus: I’m Going to Be Rude Now
7:09 – Don’t Be Fooled!




Cite this article as: Hayden Richards, "Comms Lab: The Humble Signpost," In: LITFL - Life in the FastLane, Accessed on December 8, 2022, https://litfl.com/comms-lab-the-humble-signpost/.

Comms Lab

A path to highly effective communication skills

Hayden is an emergency physician at University Hospital Geelong and a senior lecturer at Deakin University, Geelong. He is somewhat obsessed with the science and art of effective communication, and in particular: difficult conversations. He believes that we can all get better at having difficult conversations, and that the process of learning to do so can be seriously fun.

Hayden is also an avid but terrible surfer, ad hoc gardener, and dad to two awesome kids.

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